For him its always been staying healthy Arians

first_img“For him it’s always been staying healthy,” Arians said. “He’s been around the quarterback. He had a really good day [Monday] and I would anticipate him to grow and grow and grow, but he’s a double-digit sack guy, easy.”Okafor’s development is key for a Cardinals team that, outside of him, struggled to get after the quarterback last season. The 24-year-old former fourth-round pick agrees with his coach’s assessment of his potential.“I know what I can do,” he said. “I got a taste of it last year, and those are my expectations. I come out ready to dominate.”What should help Okafor accomplish that goal is the fact that for the first time since he entered the NFL, he did not spent his offseason learning a new position, like he did as a rookie making the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker, or rehabbing an injury, as he did last year in returning from a biceps injury that ended his first season with an early trip to injured reserve.Instead, he was able to focus solely on getting better as a player.“The benefits just come in the weight room with strength,” he said, noting he didn’t have much time to work out or build strength the last couple of offseasons. “This offseason I definitely saw a lot of number increases in the weight room and on the field as well.” Alex Okafor (57) applies pressure as QB Drew Stanton looks for a receiver during Cardinals training camp Aug. 4. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact – / 29 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   One thing the 6-foot-4, 261-pound Okfaor did not work on was adding new moves to his bag because, as he said, the best pass rushers of all-time have a few moves that they perfect, with maybe another couple meant to counter what an offensive lineman might do.If Okafor’s offseason leads to him taking that next step and becoming the kind of pass rusher both he and his coach think he can be, Arizona’s stout and relatively anonymous defensive front will add yet another consistent weapon. Okafor said he understands why most people talk about Calais Campbell and then no one else, though the hope is that will soon change.“Calais, he’s a hell of a player, but outside of him, on paper, we don’t have the numbers,” he said. “I think it just drives the D-line and the ‘backers as a group to kind of get those numbers on paper and show people what we can do. And I know we’re capable of it.” GLENDALE, Ariz. — Last season, Alex Okafor tallied a team-leading eight sacks in 13 games played.Had he played 16 games with that pace, the linebacker would have finished with 9.85 sacks.The franchise record for sacks in a season is 16.5, by Simeon Rice in 1999, and while no one is saying Okafor should approach that number in 2015, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians very much expects the former Texas Longhorn to reach double digits. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories last_img